February 1, 2012 Legislation




The Red Cross has been cited by the FDA for blood safety problems.  They should get it soon.  They have been cited 14 times for the same thing since 2003 and have been fined a total of $46 million.  This time the recommended fine is $9.59 million.  The FDA said there is no problem with the nation's blood supply but they want to keep it like that.  I have no idea where the Red Cross is getting the money to pay the fines but I do not believe I will be donating to them until I know they are not using donated money to pay for their ineptitude.  

Obamacare is supposed to reduce spending but the CBO has come out with a report that disease management and value based payments have not reduced any spending.  This was based on 10 demonstration projects.  

Sebilius is truly a political hack.  In a speech to Families Inc. she stated that losing in November is not an option and that liberals should not turn their back on Obama.  This is inappropriate for an appointee in her position to be saying.  

Obama has reiterated that all organizations, including Catholic organizations, must cover female contraception for free.  They are giving Catholic organizations an additional year to comply.  Non Catholic organizations must comply by August 1 this year.  This allows the law to be put off until after the election.  The more things are free the more they cost.

Bloomberg reports that Medicare under Dr. Berwick overpaid insurer HMOs by $3.1 Billion in 2010.  This is due to the miscalculations by the program as to how sick the beneficiaries were under a process called risk adjustment.  This risk adjustment pays for for older patients, gender and any major medical conditions or disabilities.  These are scored and payment goes up with higher scores.  

HHS has issued a report on the amount of physicians opting out of Medicare, the effect on the program and why the physicians opt out.  The result was not surprising.  They could come to no conclusion since they never collected the data.  They did state that between 2006 and 2010 more physicians opted out than prior to 2006.  They now hope to collect the appropriate data.        Top


Do not expect any help with the long term solution for the SGR.  Both sides agree they want a long term fix but not how to pay for it, same as always.  The GOP wants a two year fix paid for by a reduction in Obamacare spending.  The Dems want a permanent fix paid for by tax increases on the wealthy and the "savings" for the ending of the Iraq war.  The Dem approach will never get through the House.        Top



DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.